7 Easy Ways to Extend the Life of Forklift Equipment

Forklifts are often cost-intensive, and more importantly, are the backbone of various industrial setups. If you too have a forklift or many of them, it is in your best interest to use and maintain them in a way, that there is as little wear and tear as possible, and that it enjoys a prolonged lifespan.  Wondering how to do so? Well, our experts at Southern Lift Trucks have you covered. Here are our top 7 tips to extend the life of your forklift equipment! 

  • Staff Training

While it may seem obvious, but it is one of the most imperative ways to ensure that your Forklifts stay in top condition, all day, every day. You can begin by offering all your operators and staff streamlined forklift handling training. During the training, the staff will learn how to identify any potential risks and repair or at least report the issues. This will not only help avert any major damage to the equipment but will also help you save costs on extensive repairs.  

  • Battery Maintenance

Keeping the battery in top shape is another hack that will help extend the life of your forklift in the most effortless manner possible. To this end, you must follow the practice of charging your battery based on a strict schedule, i.e. either after a full day’s worth of work, or when the battery level falls below 30%. This pattern will help ensure that your forklift never runs out of battery while at work, while also guaranteeing that your forklift battery enjoys a significantly higher number of cycles. All of this put together will make sure the battery lasts long, and so does your forklift.  

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  • Regular Oil Change

This is a measure that is very effective, and yet can be overlooked quite often. All you need to do is change the oil of your IC engine once every three months. This will help enhance the fuel efficiency of the forklift, while preventing any potential combustion issues. When all of this is taken care of, you can expect your forklift to work at its full capacity without any significant damage to the engine in the long run. 

  • Lubricate Regularly

Any equipment that handles material regularly often has various moving parts, and so is the case with forklifts as well. To make sure these parts keep working flawlessly, it is essential that you follow a stringent lubrication schedule. Of course, lubrication should be adequate and not excessive. Hence, it is also important that you keep an eye on any leakages. In case you are unable to identify the source of any such leakage, you must take the assistance of a professional forklift repair service provider, such as Southern Lift Trucks. Once you do so, the source can be identified quickly so that any risks of a potential breakdown of a vehicle can be easily averted.  

  • Preventative Maintenance

If there’s anything that the saying “A stitch in time saves nine” fits exceedingly well it has to be forklift maintenance. When you opt for a scheduled maintenance package for your forklifts, you can rest assured that any faults in the equipment are fixed well within time, before they turn into something more problematic and pose a hindrance to the functioning of the forklift. Of course, you would need to hire a forklift repair service in Mobile, AL for the same, but once you do you will surely see exceptional value for your money within no time. 

  • Predictive Maintenance

As the name suggests, this type of maintenance entails repairing or replacing the parts of a forklift before they actually need repair. This is usually done on the basis of service recommendations as well as experience-based predictions as to when a specific part will need repair. Again, the extent to which the equipment is being used, and the condition of the facility, will help you understand the need and frequency for predictive monitoring and repairs. 

  • Facility Maintenance

Regardless of how careful you are with the maintenance of your forklift, it can still suffer substantial wear and tear if your warehouse or facility is not in a good shape. To steer clear of any physical damage to the forklift, make sure of two things. Firstly, keep the path of the forklift clear of any debris, and secondly ensure that the facility has a smooth, obstacle-free area for the forklift to operate seamlessly. As inconsequential as this tip may sound, it will surely add years to the life of your forklifts! 

We hope that you now know all about extending the life of your forklifts. Simply put, your operators and your trusted forklift repair service provider will play the most significant roles in this maneuver, and before you know it you will save hundreds and thousands of dollars on forklift purchase and maintenance.

FAQs about Forklift Lifespan

What is the average lifespan of a forklift?

While the average life of a forklift is 10,000 hours, a forklift hailing from a high-quality brand that is offered ample maintenance can easily last for up to 20,000 hours. 

How are forklift hours calculated?

If a forklift is used for an average of 6 hours per day, it usually clocks around 1,200-1,500 hours per year. Depending on the brand and the level of maintenance, a forklift may therefore last anywhere between 7 to 15 years. 

How do you maintain a forklift?

You can take several steps to maintain your forklift equipment and help it last longer. Some of these steps are: 

  • Make it a habit to regularly inspect the forklift for any signs of cracks on its body.
  • Form a routine to change the forklift’s engine oil and filter.
  • Ensure that key components, such as the chassis and the mast components, are lubricated.
  • Ensure the drive belt’s tension is right at all times, and more.

How do you prevent forklift damage?

    One of the best ways to prevent your forklift from damage is to use guard rails and bollards. Guard rails and bollards are usually attached to the floor and are the first line of defense from any accidents. They also help ensure worker’s safety. 

    What should be done daily on a forklift? 

    The two main things you must do every day when handling a forklift are: 

    • Inspect the forklift’s handles, the fork, and the battery.
    • Check how the forklift operates. This includes testing its brakes, the horn, and the load-handling attachment.

    How often should you maintain a forklift?

      A forklift that operates anywhere between 1200 to 1500 hours a year on average must be regularly inspected and maintained roughly every 60 days to ensure optimum running condition. 

      How often should you add water to a forklift battery? 

      Electric forklifts that are used every day must typically be watered every week. A well-maintained and regularly watered battery can be checked every 10 charges over the first few years of its lifetime. 

      How often do forklifts need an oil change? 

      Forklifts with an internal combustion engine should ideally be given an oil change once every three months. This can help improve its overall fuel efficiency while preventing any potential combustion issues. 

      How does staff training affect the lifespan of a forklift? 

      Aside from maintaining the forklift itself, training your staff to identify potential issues with forklifts and maintain them regularly can help prevent costly repairs in the long run. These typically happen when a forklift’s maintenance is neglected or the staff isn’t trained to identify potential issues with its performance. 

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